Being fake isn't an attribute to which I usually aspire.
Is there anything that's better fake than real? Well, fake nails are better than my nails. A spray-on tan is better for you than a real one, I suppose.
But most of the time, we prefer to go with the real thing ... case in point, diamonds vs. zirconia.
But I did find a pretty good fake during harvest ... fake Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I didn't have time to make yeast bread from scratch, but I wanted to serve a hot bread with my roast beef meal.
Hot, fresh bread was supposed to accompany the next day's meal of beef and noodles, too. I had good intentions: I refrigerated some unbaked biscuits and was going to have them nice and hot for the noon meal. Unfortunately, I left them a little too long in the oven. (Yes, even we experienced cooks have our moments. This was not a stellar one. I fed them to the cats and dogs. Millie dug a hole for one under a bush in the backyard. Somehow, I don't think she was saving it for later. Sad but true!)
I looked online for a recipe, but couldn't find one that didn't use biscuit mix. So I did some modification and came up with this. I doubled the recipe. I always figure if I'm making a mess, I might as well make it worthwhile.
And speaking of worthwhile, I'm planning to go to the National Festival of Breads in Wichita tomorrow. Doors of the Wichita Airport Hilton ballroom will open at 7:30 AM to the public. Eight amateur bakers from across the U.S. will bake their original yeast bread recipes. There's also a mini trade show with food and cooking vendors, plus a full schedule of demonstrations about everything from basic sweet doughs to baking with whole grains. A Great American Bake Sale will benefit Share Our Strength, which combats childhood hunger.
I hope you'll join me from 7:30 AM to 4 PM at the Wichita Airport Hilton! And did I mention free bread samples? Yum!
But, if you can't come to Wichita, check out the Kansas Wheat website for the 2009 Festival of Bread finalists' recipes or other tried-and-true recipes. Or make Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
Cheddar Bay Biscuits1/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, mixing together. Add shredded cheese, cutting in with the pastry blender. Cut in shortening, using a pastry blender, until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk, mixing with fork, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and rounds up into a ball.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly about 10 times. Roll 1/2-inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Melt butter in microwave. Add spices. Using a pastry brush, brush butter mixture over each biscuit. Reserve remaining butter mix.
Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush with remaining butter mixture and serve hot. Makes about 1 dozen.
- I think Red Lobster makes drop biscuits (I might too if I were making as many as they serve a night). If you want to go that route, just drop them with a fork and bake as directed above.
- If you want to use biscuit mix, the recipe I found used 2 cups Bisquick and 1/2 cup cold water. You would just add your 3/4 cheese to that mixture instead of working with the flour mixture and shortening.
- As I said earlier, I doubled the recipe. However, I didn't double the butter and seasonings, and I had plenty for all the biscuits.
A Photo Step-by-Step
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, mixing together.
Shred the cheese.
Add the cheese and cut it in, using the pastry blender.
Cut in the shortening, using the pastry blender (if you don't have a pastry blender, two forks will work in a pinch.)
Below is is how it should look after cutting in the shortening. It should resemble "fine crumbs."
Stir in milk, mixing with fork, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and rounds up into a ball.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. (I ended up having to add just a little flour because it was a little too sticky to knead. Don't add too much though or you'll have dry biscuits.) Knead lightly about 10 minutes.
Roll 1/2-inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Melt butter in microwave. Add spices. Using a pastry brush, brush butter mixture over each biscuit. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush with remaining butter mixture and serve hot.
(Sorry, I guess I didn't get a photo of brushing the biscuits with the butter mixture. But I am confident you can do that on your own anyway.)